How to redeem miles for flights on LATAM
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Reader Questions are answered twice a week by Senior Points & Miles Contributor Ethan Steinberg.
Airline alliances such as Star Alliance and Oneworld are the bedrock on which much of global aviation is built, allowing passengers to travel to every corner of the world even if their hometown airline doesn’t fly there. Recently Chilean carrier LATAM shocked the aviation industry when it announced it would be leaving the Oneworld alliance on the heels of a major equity investment from Delta. In light of this development, TPG Executive Editorial Director Scott Mayerowitz was struggling to find award flights for his parents. So, what are the best ways to redeem miles for flights on LATAM …
With LATAM leaving the Oneworld alliance, what options do I have for redeeming miles for flights on LATAM?TPG EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR SCOTT MAYEROWITZ
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
While Delta and LATAM may eventually announce reciprocal mileage redemptions in the future, for now LATAM’s exit from Oneworld makes it nearly impossible to redeem miles for flights operated by LATAM. You pretty much only have two options, neither of which are especially appealing.
The first choice would be to use the LATAM Pass program. LATAM Pass miles are pretty hard to earn, and for most people the only option is going to be to transfer points from Marriott Bonvoy at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred. That is not a great deal. LATAM doesn’t appear to have an award chart published on its website for flights on its own metal (as opposed to Oneworld partner airlines), but they do have a mileage calculator you can use to search for individual routes.
For example, a round-trip economy award from New York-JFK to Lima (LIM) costs 36,000 LATAM points, or 135,500 in business class. If you backtrack, that means you’d need to transfer 93,000 Marriott points to fly economy or 331,000 to fly business class.
The other option is to bypass a points transfer entirely, and instead leverage a pay-with-points bonus like you’ll find on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and several Amex business charge cards. For example, this round-trip economy flight from JFK to Lima would normally cost $614, but my Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a 50% bonus when I redeem my points directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
This means I can book the flight for 40,926 Ultimate Rewards points, and because this booking is treated like a cash ticket I’ll even earn miles on the flight (though figuring out where to credit them with LATAM leaving Oneworld is an entirely different challenge).
The options for booking award flights on LATAM are dwindling with the airline set to leave the Oneworld alliance by the end of next year, but you do still have a few choices.
The first is to leverage LATAM Pass, the carrier’s frequent flyer program, and top up your account by transferring points from Marriott. The second is to use your points to book a cash ticket and take advantage of a pay-with-points bonus, freeing you from worrying about transfer ratios and finding award availability.
Featured photo by Rafael Luiz Canossa/Wikimedia Commons.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees